Archive for January, 2011
Here is another peek into my life. I am still enjoying the Photo A Day project and doing my best to keep up. I have joined a 52 week project that will challenge me to think outside the box. Here it is, my real life…
January 23-So, I put her through Let’s Play Music classes and then on to piano lessons only to learn that it never works out if it is MY idea… she likes things that are HER idea. Needless to say, I am the mother that thought, “If you live in my house, you play piano,” and I am now eating my words. It wasn’t worth the teachers time or my money because she cried, threw her books on the floor, wouldn’t practice, and basically was out to prove that her and the piano would not make a good couple. She made her point, I wanted to stay strong but I couldn’t! I COULDN’T. So, she quits piano and wants nothing to do with musical instruments. Glad to know I win mother of the year here. : ( Anyhow, she now pulls out her music books and sits at the piano and plays and gets excited about it. AND, she shows her brother the music notes and what they mean. Now that it is HER idea, all is well!
January 24- Today I had many pictures to choose from but they all had me in them and quite frankly, I am not loving the double chin and long (for me), flat, hair do. I snapped this picture this morning when she was ready to go out the door to school. I was so proud of her, wanting to get up and walk with me. She set her alarm and when it went off I questioned her commitment but she was more determined that me. I was hoping to go back to bed. : ) Anyhow, I ended the night by taking some scissors to my hair and recommitting myself to either getting rid of chins FAST or learning how to master the liquify tool.
January 25- Just another day in the life… I was trying to get some blog posts together and scheduled. I had just cut my hair the night before and couldn’t stop playing with the back of it-feeling that it was ummmm, well… not exactly looking like I got it cut professionally. : )
January 26- Call me irresponsible. Call me a chef. Call me disgusting. Call me whatever… I found this in my bread box. I was about to put the bread box in storage because I saw it sitting there and realized I NEVER use the dang bread box. I grabbed it to put it away and thought it seemed a little heavy. Turns out, I DID use it, once upon a time. This was its remains. Ready for dinner? I will cook and bring the bread. ha!
More on January 26 -See… the bread isn’t too bad. :) kidding. I just took another shot in the kitchen today. The whole reason I was evaluating my bread box was because I was getting my bread OUT OF THE REFRIGERATOR to make a panini. This little doodad is one of my favorite kitchen appliances. Everything tastes good toasted and melted. Moments before, I grilled my chicken breast (well not MY chicken breast, but A chicken breast) on the George Foreman and then transferred to and bread and my hot panini press. It was a delightful lunch. But give a girl some delicious lunch and she will want a cookie!~
January 27- I actually snapped this last night-the 26th. I was cleaning up the office and the pile that was dumped after school. This was hiding in the papers… Who is this girl? I cannot claim to be her mother! For some redeeming value (but it wasn’t as funny) she signed this one Mean One but there was a second note that was the same poem with words like, “You are a rockstar and everybody likes you.” and signed the bottom Nice One. Thank goodness I found that one too-I was gearing up for a difficult parenting moment!
January 28 -The night of preparation for the family budget meeting tomorrow. : ) I printed money (nothing like my own Mint) in different denominations to represent the full amount paid on “payday”. It is time to show the kids that money doesn’t grow on trees and NO, they can’t have everything they ask for. (Does that make me a mean mom?)
January 29 - Budget Day… We have decided to involve out kids in budgeting for many reasons… 1. to help them understand where money goes, 2. to get them to take shorter showers, 3. to stop donating all their toys instead of cleaning them up when asked (putting them on an allowance now), 4. to help us stay on our budget (you know how it is when kids keep you accountable!) I have read Dave Ramsey’s books and love the idea of cash budgets. We also get going strong at the beginning of the year and by the end of the year we think… “budget? What budget?” So, we are going to do better this year! It is an incredible feeling to see and know exactly where money goes (and how fast) each month/payday. We wrote down everything needed for the month. The left side of the table is the beginning of the month and the right side is the end of the month. We showed that we budgeted money twice to cover things like gas and groceries from (from each paycheck). We had every last details such as gifts, clothes, babysitter, allowance, hot lunch at school, violin lessons, violin rental, etc. She voted right away to get rid of the gym membership and reduce the clothing budget. It was a great experience that we plan on doing every 2 weeks! I loved having tangible (even if it is fake) money to disperse where needed! I loved seeing things like Netflix and how it adds to the monthly expenses. I loved showing them how we set money aside for “family allowance” which allows us to have fun together. I think my son was playing with the stack of $1′s the entire time- but SHE learned a great deal and loved being the banker. We are encouraging them to put aside more money in savings so we can save enough to go to Great Wolf Lodge.
I am keeping up quite nicely and please to say that I have almost made it through January and still really love this personal project! So many things happen in a day and sometimes the kids say things that I think I will remember forever, only to forget 2 hours later. Having this daily record will be fun to review in the years to come! I left off at January 14 so…
January 15- On Saturday, I was dealing with some girly pains, namely the abdomen area and wanted some peace. Me and my heating pad went to my room and was going to call a 30 minute time out. My husband added to my peace time and turned on my special happy light that he bought for me (a Phillips goLite Blu Light Therapy Device– the light that represents daylight) That light is pretty darn cool-I can use it as an alarm or just a pick me up in the afternoon. Soon, my peace time was interupted and it was a party on my bed with a blue light. Maybe my kids are getting too much energy from this little miracle lamp?
January 16- It’s Sunday. It’s sunny and beautiful outside, unusual for Seattle in January. We decided that we would walk around the corner and check out the home for sale. It was gorgeous in every single way. I wish it was mine. Every detail was thought through and stunning. The kitchen cabinets were amazing and I want them. The refrigerator looked like a cabinet, the dishwasher looked like a cabinet and I loved the color with the dark iron looking hardware. I feels nice to dream…
January 17- Today was full of stuff like cutting my hair and deciding if I felt like cleaning it up, doing some laundry and then leaving it in the washer, and being in my “lounge” wear all day. Pretty eventful huh? Time flies… At 10:30, I grabbed my camera and told myself, “I will NOT FAIL ON DAY 17!” Then I walked around my house, my very dark house, trying to find the photo of the day. I found it. Not only was there light, but it shows my procrastination! Caught!
January 18- Rainy days and Mondays always get me down… (or Tuesdays). This is a typical scene from inside my car. Love Washington, we pay the price for its beauty!
January 19- You know what I see today? SUNSHINE. Blue skies and sunshine. I loved it and opened all the windows to let the light shine in. Wow-what a beautiful day it was! I wished I was outside, enjoying every moment, soaking every ray BUT instead I played Kinect with my son who loves bowling. It was worth it-the sun was close enough, shining through the window. What a glorious gorgeous January day!
January 20-My Thursdays usually look like this! It’s laundry day around here and the kids know that if they want something washed, it better be in the laundry room. Sometimes I wish I did one load each day to space it out but I like to just get it done and not think about it for a while… but does laundry ever really leave the “to do” list? nope.
January 21-I saw these handsome things sitting on the floor IN MY WAY today. I was vacuuming like a good little domestic engineer and was annoyed about the slippers but then had to smile. THIS was his favorite Christmas gift. They were sitting so nicely next to the bed, waiting to warm his feet. He takes great care of them and has reminded me several times that he loves his slippers.
January 22- Today was another fabulous day in Kirkland! I came home to these children, in shorts and T-shirts and flip-flops, playing outside as if it was June. The temperature read 51 degrees but you would never know. Do you ever see your kids playing and wonder what they are up to? He has a t-shirt in his hands, he was wearing it on his head. She has binoculars around her neck, a robot dog in her arms, a cheer leading skirt, boots, a backpack and a rocker hair wig. What are they doing?
January 22- This day ended on a different note…It has been one of these kinds of days (again). Tim was in charge of this crazy idea (reminds me of many punishments from my childhood). We learned they don’t mind writing… he likes writing and liked practicing his letters. SHE, well… ended up being punished on top of the punishment. It wasn’t good.
January 12-I was walking along, minding my business… when all of the sudden I saw this! Clearly he is being saint (don’t you see the halo) while his dear little wifey does some shopping, but the mouth was dropped and he was definitely getting in his afternoon nap-with or without his bed (and wife). My husband is no shopper indeed and certainly he couldn’t come along during his nap hour.
January 13- There are few things in this life that drive me bonkers and I am here to tell you about one of them… stuffed animals. Why do kids flock to them, sleep with them, cuddle with them and want to own every one they see? I especially dislike them when batteries are involved. But, I do have to say that Build-A-Bear, or the founder, is pretty darn smart. I had a babysitter after school every day growing up and she sewed tiny little clothes for our stuffed animals and we LOVED it. I’m pretty sure that babysitter is NOT the founder of Build-A-Bear but she should have been.
I often try to sneak one of these furry little things out in the “donate” pile but somehow the children ALWAYS find it and act so horrified, like I was trying to cut off one of their arms. Someday…. ahh someday these furry beasts will not have a place at my home (but by then, I am sure it will be full circle and I will be begging for my children to come visit thier lonely little mother and I will buy stuffed animals for the grandchildren and watch my kids be just as bugged as me!)
January 14- I too have a front door with boots (inspired by another photo a day gal) but mine is not nearly as cute and clean (and definitely missing a sassy fun rug!). Did I mention that it rains here? It rains here. It rains a lot. Something we keep at our front door is a pair of rain boots. My son’s friend who lives next door, stops a little further in to take off his boots. Good thing he (and his boots) are so cute. I never EVER thought this would be my front door scene. Never! But here we are, living in the Pacific Northwest among the pine trees and ocean water… and rain water.
January 15- (really the late evening of January 14) Have you ever been so mad at your children that you couldn’t do anything more than threaten to put them to bed without dinner-only a piece of bread and a cup of water? Unfortunately, the end of day 14 was that for me so I figured I would put it up as picture of the day for 15 since 14 was done. My kids were wild-loud-crazy-running around type kids. My daughter was getting up on our folding table and dancing and stomping her feet and then jumping off and chasing her brother around the house. One of those chase moments involved a screwdriver-he had a screwdriver in his hand and while laughing and running, turned to throw it at her. Guess where that screwdriver went??? MY HEAD. Needless to say, I was a little mad. Just a little. Ha! Thank goodness my head was in front of the computer because it would have done something to my Mac screen. Anyhow, I turned around (probably with smoke coming out of my ears), grabbed her by the arm and pulled into an empty room and told her to sit there until I was ready to let her out. Then I grabbed him and drug him upstairs and put him in his room and told him the same. Then, it was me and her 2 friends standing there… what now? That is embarassing. I told them to get their shoes and get ready to go-we walked them home. The kids were sent to bed and I delivered a piece of bread and a cup of water to their door. They were instructed to leave the dishes at their door and I would pick them up when I was ready. The episode was at 5:30, I went up there at about 9:30 and saw the dishes and felt so bad. This was for sure the moment of the day. And just for the record, her note says, “To mom from Zoe, I’m sorry for chasing Zane, I admit it I was loud.” You gotta love a sincere apology. ; )
On Tuesday morning as I was getting ready to greet my day (at 10:00am) I realized that I possessed one of the greatest inventions ever! Nope, not the toothpaste, although toothpaste is pretty great, it is that little white plastic squeeze it toothpaste thingee that helps you squeeze the toothpaste to the end. I noticed that I have been using the same tube of toothpaste for several months now (and yes, I brush my teeth every day). This little white thingee keeps the tube clean and prevents wasting gobs of toothpaste. You see, I live in WA now and I am learning to be conservative-this is a step. Don’t you love when somebody invents something and you think, “Why didn’t I think of that?” We found these things at The Container Store in Bellevue, WA when we first moved here. We went a little hog wild (since I adore organization things which makes me unorganized with too much stuff to organize myself… am I talking in circles?) buying shelves and extension shelves, and drawer organizers and sliding under the cabinet storage and SQUEEZE IT tube squeezers. I am near the end of this tube and getting ready to put my Squeeze It on a new tube (barely holding on to the end). My kids have a Squeeze It too and I swear it minimizes the mess that kids are capable of creating in the bathroom when brushing teeth is involved. Someday, I hope to have a simple invention that will be as simple as this yet so helpful, like a Christmas tree that is pre-decorated. Unbox, plug in and voila. Or how about a self cleaning toilet? That can’t be far from the future. There are self cleaning ovens…
Sometimes Tim takes on the “to-do” list and it is blissful. We like to call it divide and conquer. The only problem is that he can finish tasks in 1/2 the time. It stumps me but when I ask he says its because I don’t stay focused. Dang focus. Anyhow, on Saturday, I sent him in one direction while I was madly editing in my quiet house. Ahhhh, the sound of silence (a good song to listen to while editing). A short 3 hours went by and he walked back in with two kids in tow and claimed to have completed all the tasks. WHAT???? My quiet time is over???? Well, I think he was in a bit of a hurry because he added a task called, “go buy Kinect,” and he did that in addition to the others. He proclaimed that our family needed it and a side benefit was that we could get good exercise. Well, he knows a way to my heart. : ) So, he fired up the Kinect and it was a family affair. Before I knew it, we had dancing, bowling, and track and field going on right in my family room. We all participated in the games and laughter.
Our Kinect joined our family on Saturday.
On Sunday, I decided to branch out. I found a cute headband in my closet. I purchased the vintage rose wrap probably back in September of LAST YEAR (sounds so long ago) and actually bought a few colors. I got too nervous and left them sitting in my closet. It was a little “out there” for me-I have never worn such a thing in my hair. I remembered I had a few when I says my friend Jilly and Mia of Girls with Good Taste feature it as a give away on their blog. OH yes… I have some of those! So, I was getting dressed on Sunday morning and spotted them in my closet and I heard it say something like, “Are you ever going to wear me? If not, maybe you could give me to somebody who will?” I considered for a moment that I should give them to a friend but then I tied one in my hair and looked in the mirror. It wasn’t too bad but I ran downstairs and asked Tim to snap a picture. After telling me that I was going to make the whole family late, he reluctantly snapped a picture so I could see what the headband REALLY looked like. You know, pictures tell the truth. : ) Anyhow, I figured I liked enough to give my courageous “branching out” a go. And funny enough, several other people ended up liking my headband. After church, I was playing with my off camera flash. In 2011, (I suppose my 2011 goals are increasing afterall) I want to learn more about off camera flash. More about that in the future but for now, you will understand the second picture below. It is a starting point, a point to grow from and one of the main reasons I keep a blog. GROWTH/CHANGE. I was the boring subject (wow 2 photos of myself in a day?) but I am the only one that won’t get upset with myself after 50 shots of the same thing. The results aren’t what I had in my head but the good news is that I have something to work toward. I named this picture the picture of change… I hope to change personally and in my business.
On Monday, my dear son woke me up by saying, “Mama, will you play with me.” There is nothing he treasures more than his Doggie and his trains. He has several and still asks for trains for every holiday-and plays with them all. His latest addition which was purchased with his Christmas gift card to a toy store, is this train set from Tomica. Doggie has been around since the day he was born and played music for a year or so but the music died and Doggie has been through a few sets of eyes. He had a little train set up in his bedroom and put Doggie by the train-his two prized possessions. I loved the scene, as his mother, because I knew the value of those items. Later in the day he was sitting on my bed and asked, “Do you think one day when I get bigger I won’t like Doggie anymore?” He started to get tears in his eyes at the thought. He then said, “Mama, he is so special to me. I will be sad if I don’t like him anymore. Do you think that I won’t like him when I am like 15?” He was trying to wrap his brain around the possibility of not needing Doggie in his life. He went to the mirror and stood there hugging Doggie and rubbing his soft ears. I loved the moment-his simple life with Doggie. It renewed my desire to keep up with Photo A Day because someday he will be 15 and Doggie will be somewhere in a bucket like Woody from Toystory. This project will take snip-its of my life and my family life and my work life and put them together in a story… Photo A Day.
Being a Queen Creek photographer has many perks and sunshine and perfect winter weather is only 2 of them. On the top of the list is the people I get to photograph in AZ. This darling girl is a dancer and her favorite style is “Interpretive Dancing” because she gets to move how the music makes her feel, is what she says. Her energy level was unmatched by any other 8 year old, her giggles were contagious and she probably has her dad wrapped around her finger. : ) Moments with a father and daughter always seem so special to me. He loves her and wants so much for her (like all fathers)-opportunities and growth, education and fun. I suppose you could say I learned a few things about her while snapping pictures. First, she is not shy in front of the camera. I was having just as much fun as her. She was dancing and giggling-the entertaining show for sure. She loves shopping at Justice and wore some awesome gold sequence boots. She has style at age 8-more than me at age… well, ummm, thirty something-hard for me to remember anymore.
Only 7 days in and 300+ to go. I think I can, I think I can…
Day 7 brought many things including an awareness of my current state of being. Yep, I might want to add weight loss back to my 2011 goals. I tried to keep it simple this year with two things in mind but it’s time to expand the list. Weight loss is on my list every year but I wanted to be different this year. ; ) In 2010 I moved and I changed. Ha. I have enjoyed every bite to this point but when the clothes I bought three months ago don’t fit the way they should (that is the nice version of don’t fit) it’s time to face the music and make some changes. One of those changes was to get out the ‘ol Spanx and see what they could do. And… they didn’t do the trick. I think it may be appropriate for some good old fashion exercise and sweat and some healthy eating. I am working on the process but I can only do one step at a time. For now, I am aware. ; )
I feel a bit anonymous out here in Kirkland, WA because I never have that grocery store run-in-to-somebody-you-know type situation. It is strange since being in AZ for my life was quite the opposite. BUT, yesterday I ran into the grocery story for some last minute dinner items and actually saw somebody that I knew. It is the first time I had the feeling of “home” and it was good. It also helped me realize that I don’t have that magic blanket on anymore. ; ) She waved hi and said with much energy, “Oh, hi,” and for a moment I couldn’t put it all together. Who could I possibly be running into here in Washington where I don’t know anybody? Then it clicked and I realized that we are members of the same church organization and I see her every Sunday. She leaned over to say hello to my son who acted like she was a complete stranger and he was going to obey the “never talk to stranger” rule. He looked at me and said, “Mama, who is that?” Nothing like some 4 year old tact. Anyhow, I don’t know what this has to do with my new goal except that it brought an awareness to me and my existence. I am settled here and we love Washington and all its beauty. It is home and time to snap out of my glutton state of being-although I have enjoyed the journey. If Spanx can’t do the trick then I suppose it’s up to me.
I am cruising right along in this project. I shouldn’t cheer quite yet but I do get excited easily. I know its late and one of my goals for 2011 is completely being ignored (stop working and get to bed) as I am determined to get my personal project under way. I decided NOT to write as many goals as I wrote in my 2010 goals so I could stay focused. Focus is a problem-no pun intended. Ha! : ) I keep reminding myself that it is just ONE photo… not 15. I can do this. I need to wait for the moment and patience will pay off. I don’t need to shoot everything, everyday. Once I have a shot that I love-I check mark my Photo A Day project and go on to something like laundry or dinner.
Unfortunately, my extremely competitive family cannot make it through a game of Scrabble without the unpleasant argument of whether it is in the Official Scrabble Dictionary or NOT. My iPhone application of Dictionary.com is not the official word, or so says my nameless sister. ; ) Many a games have ended without a content feeling of victory since certainly more than one of the words shouldn’t be used if we had the Scrabble Dictionary . It’s ok, do not fear. Our last game together on my last night in AZ on our holiday vacation we played a mad game and I won! BUT, I also ordered a copy of THE dictionary. I couldn’t wait to get home and have my hands on that little thing. Well, the anticipation died and all my anxiety went out the window when I opened my front door and saw the Amazon reusable tote with this little goody… AND my contentious opponent was not here. I have a great reference and resource but nobody to play a good game of Scrabble with. Thank goodness for Words With Friends!
I didn’t tell them to scream (I don’t think-but who knows). When I look at this I love their happy faces. Our goal was to capture their family with a Seattle landmark. Well, there is that Space Needle! They were enjoying their time together dancing, jumping, and singing YMCA, while watching some other camera hog lady jump and show off on her trampoline moves in front of this monument. To be honest, we were all sort of captivated by this lady. Who was she? Why was she so important? I was having equipment envy-her photographer came with all sorts of odds and ins that made his photo session smooth and seamless. So, if anything-I know she had a photographer that knew what he was doing.
So, back to my subjects… they were much more interesting because they have two adorable girls, one “pretend to be no so into the pictures husband,” and a spirited mama who can spark up a conversation with anybody, even if it is just about how she styles her bangs! What a lovely time at Kerry Park in Seattle!
I have made it 4 days into January. I know it isn’t January 4th and you probably won’t believe me but I am not behind. I am actually an over achiever at this point. On some days, I have more than one picture and I am thrilled. Should I stock pile it for later in the year? Ha. I would do something like that. So, remember that I mentioned “hitting the ground and running” in my first post for Photo A Day? We got off the plane and dropped my son at preschool on the way home-I mean what says “hitting the ground and running” like that? : ) We had not seen our house since Christmas day so coming home to the unopened gifts was a treat. My daughter kept herself busy discovering what she didn’t pay attention to the first time around and voila, that left me with time to catch up with emails. Oh my goodness the emails. So, routine was back in order which meant schedules and commitments. So, Day 5 brings me to swimming lessons at Angelfish Swimming…
She is a fantastic swimmer and her swim teacher (and me, but I don’t count because I am just mom) has tried to convince her that she needs to take swim to the next level. She is a natural. BUT this kid goes where the friends go. Angelfish Swimming in Kirkland, WA is a year-round facility with an amazing story! There are no guaranteed friends at swim team in the winter time. : ( Much to my disappointment, she has decided that she will not swim for a little while. Shall I vent a little right here about children and hobbies/talents/lessons? What is the right way to handle these sorts of things? I tried force with piano and I learned a very uncomfortable and frustrating lesson-I will just say that forcing is not the way with her… I really want her to stick with something! Darn. Anyhow, swimming and schedules and life has resumed, minus the swim lessons. : ) She is ready for violin she says.
I have loved my project! I love having my camera and anticipating moments-or waiting for something that strikes me. This documenting thing is not all that bad.